21 cheap and easy dinners for when you need a quick meal

These cheap weeknight dinner ideas are perfect for those hectic evenings when you need a delicious meal on the table, fast.

Eating well on a budget doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and having a bank of cheap weeknight dinner recipes you can whip up in a flash can help take the stress out of your evening meal routine.

Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or a parent trying to feed fussy eaters, having a repertoire of affordable mid-week meal ideas can be a game changer.

From hearty one-pot wonders to quick and easy stir-fries, these budget-friendly recipes are perfect for those looking to save money without sacrificing flavour.

21 cheap and easy weeknight dinner ideas the whole family will love


Moroccan pumpkin, chickpea, feta and almond salad

Up your mid-week salad game with this comforting Moroccan pumpkin, chickpea, feta and almond salad recipe.


Deliciously Ella’s 15-minute black dhal recipe

This is a shortcut recipe for a quick, creamy, deeply flavoursome black dhal.

The chilli, ginger, red onion and coriander give it a punchy flavour that’s equally warming and invigorating.

Baked nut-crusted salmon

Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s baked nut-crusted salmon with walnut and roast capsicum purée is a deliciously easy weeknight dinner.


Amber Guiness’ rigatoni with ricotta and fiery roast tomatoes recipe

Take your tastebuds on a trip to Italy with this simple recipe inspired by the Aeolian Islands.

Amber Guiness’ rigatoni with ricotta and fiery roast tomatoes is the pasta you’ve been waiting for.

BBQ cumin chicken wraps with tomato and corn salsa recipe

You’ll be absolutely wrapped with Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s BBQ cumin chicken wraps.

You’ll never cook chicken any other way again.


Luke Hines’ deliciously easy vegetarian frittata recipe

Luke Hines’ phenomenally easy vegetarian frittata ticks all the boxes.

It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and packed with protein and healthy fats for a deliciously nutritious start to your day.

Better Together Kitchen’s spaghetti puttanesca

Better Together Kitchen’s speedy spaghetti puttanesca

When it comes to go-to midweek dinners, Better Together Kitchen’s spaghetti puttanesca recipe is not only simple to prepare, but with just a few ingredients you can create a flavour-packed dish the whole family will love.


Crispy fish tacos with spicy Mexican slaw

Dive into a taste of summer with these simple fish tacos, served with a spicy coleslaw.

Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot more interesting.


Daen Lia’s  one-pan crispy chicken thighs with caramelised onions and lemon

Daen Lia’s one-pan chicken thighs dish is incredibly easy to make, results in the crispiest chicken skin and creates a sauce that is so good you might want to drink it.


Rice bowl with chicken breast, zucchini and sage

This perfectly balanced chicken and rice bowl is sure to get your taste buds dancing.

Plus, it’s topped with zucchini for a strong kick in nutrients and antioxidants.


Lentil salad with sauteed veggies and feta

This high-fibre lentil salad recipe makes healthy eating insanely easy.

Plus, it may help with weight management, improve digestion and reduce risk of disease.


Japanese salmon with crunchy veggies and rice

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids for the heart, this nutrient-balanced Japanese-inspired salmon recipe makes for a satisfying yet flavoursome meal with a Japanese twist.


Alice Zaslavsky’s prawn, macadamia and asparagus stir-fry

With the goodness of veggies, this easy-to-cook prawn and veg stir-fry by Alice Zaslavsky is packed with nutrients and umami – making it a nutritious and tasty summer meal.


Teriyaki chicken

Bring authentic Japanese flavours to your dinner table with this sweet and tangy homemade teriyaki chicken.

Prep the chicken beforehand and you’ll have this tasty after-work meal whipped up in no time.


One-pot Indian chicken

This Indian-inspired one-pot chicken curry dish is an ideal weeknight meal for busy families.

It’s simple, nutritious and makes cleaning up a breeze.

Spicy Brazilian hot beef with sauteed vegetables

Zoe Bingley-Pullin takes your tastebuds on a trip to South America with her healthy Brazilian hot beef recipe.


Baked ratatouille gnocchi

This veggie-packed tray bake, topped with ready-made gnocchi, ticks all the boxes for a great family meal.

It’s easy, healthy and delicious.


Portobello burger with grilled beef

This might just be the perfect keto beef burger — plus the portobello mushrooms provide essential nutrients.

lentil winter stew

Easy pumpkin, chickpea and lentil stew

For a nourishing plant-based meal with minimal effort, this pumpkin and lentil stew is a go-to.

With red, green and brown lentils, it is high in protein and fibre – meatless Mondays never looked so good.

mussels in coconut broth

Luke Hines’ moorish mussels in coconut broth

Green lipped mussels are the hero in this warming Thai-inspired mussels dish from Luke Hines.

A quick and easy option when you want to warm up from the inside out.

Yoghurt-marinated chicken with warm beetroot and quinoa salad

Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s deliciously tasty yoghurt marinated chicken with warm beetroot and quinoa salad is one of those quick and easy recipes you need in your dinner repertoire.

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